Perhaps you are wondering if you need this appliance, or you have moved into a new home that already has one. Either way, once you start using it, you will love the fast results of your convection over. Instead of the still heat used by regular ovens to cook your food, convection ovens use a fan to constantly force the hot air to move. In fact, “convection” means air circulation, which is key to cooking more quickly – nearly 20% - at lower temperatures.
As an additional benefit, with the movement of hot air, the food is heated evenly – most important in baking. Most professional bakers and bread makers use convection ovens exclusively, and now you, too, can enjoy professional results from your own kitchen. The improvement is due to the higher temperature, which causes butter in pastry to release steam much earlier in the baking process, which results in lighter, fluffier baked goods.
You don’t need special pans or other apparatus to use your convection over, though to keep the air moving, you are better off with lower sides. Invest in the cookie sheets that are entirely flat, for the most delicious, crispy results. Many recipes offer instructions for modification to suit the adjusted temperature and time requirements of a convection oven. If you favorites don’t, reduce heat by approximately twenty-five degrees, and start checking whether food is done at approximately 75% of the recommended cooking time for regular ovens. Believe it or not, the air flow of your convection oven means you can fill up all of the racks and still count on reliable results. This is a leaps and bounds improvement over traditional ovens, which tend to cook unevenly when full, requiring periodic rotation of the various pans.
Have patience as you practice with your new convection over. There are some differences that will take some getting used to. After the learning curve, almost everyone agrees that convection ovens are fabulous improvements over the more traditional options.